Switzerland Travel Writing

How to spend one day in Lausanne?


City view of the pastel medieval houses of Lausanne old town

As you know, I L-O-V-E travelling, it’s my one true passion (hence this blog, dah!). But this September I haven’t been travelling a lot (some friends would add “for once!”). Mainly because I had to save some energy (and money) for my next big trip (more on that in an upcoming post, so stay tuned)…

Anyway, this self-imposed travelling ban gave me a blog post idea! Why not write about the city where I live, aka Lausanne?! So here am I!

But how whittle down the entire city to just one day and its best bits (according to me of course)?? As we still are sort of late summer early fall I chose to tackle this challenge by putting together the guide to my perfect late-summer-early-fall-day-in-Lausanne, aka Indian summer day!

So here is how you can take as much as you can when you have just one day to spend in Lausanne:

1. Early morning – Admire the sun raising above the Alps and the lake

Photo a view of Lac Léman from its banks

One of my favourite things in Lausanne is witnessing the sun rising above the lake and the Alps, sitting on one of the benches on the banks of Lake Leman. There is something very peaceful and relaxing being there contemplating the birth of a new day. Even if you’re not a morning person it’s really worth waking up around 7pm, walk to the lake and simply enjoy.  You can even add to the pleasure by getting a yummy breakfast (or brunch if it’s the weekend) at the Tom Café afterwards.

2. After breakfast – Stroll around the “Jardin botanique”

Photo of a building and a pond in Lausanne's botanical garden

Following your breakfast at the Tom Café, take a 10 to 15 minutes’ walk to the “Jardin botanique”, the city’s botanical garden. If you don’t like walking, you can also board the local subway.

This garden is one of Lausanne’s best kept secret. I only recently discovered it, although I have been living in this city for many years. Strolling around the garden will make you travel to exotic countries, the Swiss Alps or even Provence, all in one place!

3. Around midday – Wander the cobbled streets of “la Cité” and admire the view on the city

City view of the pastel medieval houses of Lausanne old town

Board the subway and head towards Lausanne’s old town, “La Cité”. La Cité is Lausanne’s historic heart, where the city was born. It’s also where Lausanne’s cathedral is located, which was built in the 13th century. I love this neighbourhood! There is a somewhat very medieval and romantic feeling about it, with its cobbled streets, medieval castle and pastel houses. Plus, it’s here where you’ll have the most stunning view of the entire city!

Photo of the city of Lausanne taken from the Esplanade de la Cité and showing houses, the Jura mountains and the Lac Léman

Following your stroll, you can grab lunch in one of the hood’s restaurants or, if you still have enough energy, walk down to the “Le P’tit Central” one of my favourite restaurants in Lausanne and one of locals’ regular joint.

Photo de l'intérieur du restaurant le P'tit Central à Lausanne
4. Afternoon – Ramble through the “Collection de l’Art Brut”

Photos de tableaux et oeuvres d'art exposées au musée de l'art brut à Lausanne

After lunch, you could go to the “Collection de l’Art Brut”, the world’s first and finest Art Brut collection and yet another of Lausanne’s best kept secret. It’s one of my favourite museums and a unique art collection of “marginal” artists with little to no tights with the established art scene. You’ll really be astonished by what you’ll see and learn!

5. Dinner time – Enjoy some tapas

Photos du logo du bar a tapas O Buro et de différents plats de tapas sur une table

For a city of its size Lausanne has a fairly good and qualitative restaurants’ scene. One of my favourite is “O Buro”, a genuine tapas bar that has nothing to envy to its counterparts in Barcelona or Madrid. It’s my go-to when I want good food and good wine but not being hungry enough for a full-course meal.

 6. Nightcap – Indulge state-of-the-art cocktails

Photo de deux verres contenant des cocktails sur une table sur une terrasse de café

If you still have a bit of energy left and fancy a last drink, head to new cocktail bar “Bottle Brother”. Inaugurated last spring, it has quickly become a favourite amongst the hypes and the stylish, as well as one of mine! There you’ll find a vast array of tasty and state-of-the-art cocktails (or creations as the staff calls them) directly inspired by America’s cocktail history. I have a soft spot for the “Snap my bloody bottle”, Bloody Mary with a twist. Plus the staff is super friendly which isn’t a given in Switzerland!

I do hope you had as much fun reading this article as I had writing it?! It made me realise how much I like my city and how much it has to offer! It even gave me the inspiration for another “one day in Lausanne” post focusing on winter activities, so stay tuned.

Thanks for reading! And if you liked my post, please share it or sign up to receive each new post via email 🙂

Related Posts


  • Reply
    charlotte g.
    01/10/2017 at 08:45

    Tu as oublié de recommander de grimper jusqu’à la fondation de l’Hermitage ou de louer un vélo pour une balade le long du lac… 🤗😍

    Envoyé de mon iPad

    • Reply
      02/10/2017 at 08:27

      Merci pour ton commentaire. Mon but n’étais pas de faire un guide sur tout ce qu’il y a à faire à Lausanne. Ce programme de 24h est selon moi la journée idéale pour la fin de l’été/début de l’automne et donc tes deux activités n’en font selon moi pas partie.

  • Reply
    01/10/2017 at 13:47

    Great tips! Have only been in the summer, so look forward to your Winter blog!

    • Reply
      02/10/2017 at 08:23

      Thanks for the comment Barry and glad you enjoyed this post! Stay tuned for the next one 😉

  • Reply
    6 reasons to visit Vietnam | heidi goes travelling
    19/11/2017 at 19:05

    […] month I was telling you about my next big trip remember? And where did I go: Vietnam! So if you’re planning a trip to this country or just […]

  • Reply
    19/02/2018 at 14:44

    Thanks! I’ll check the Collection de l’Art Brut out for sure! I’ve just moved to Lausanne and I’m looking for interesting stuff to do. Last Sunday I visited the Olympic Museum, its was quite interesting too and I think it’s one of the Lausanne must see

    • Reply
      27/03/2018 at 23:46

      You’re very welcome! I’m glad I could help and let me know when you will have checked the Collection, your impressions!

  • Reply
    Sunday in Lausanne : visiting the “Collection de l’Art Brut”
    26/02/2018 at 07:09

    […] Once again the same dilemma. What can I do in this city on Sunday? I got the answer from this super interesting post about Lausanne, which indicates many activities that it’s possible to do in Lausanne in […]

  • Reply
    26/02/2018 at 07:13

    Hi! Thanks for the tips 🙂 I’ve just moved in Lausanna and I found them really useful. I al so mentioned this post in my last one (https://maybeimout.com/2018/02/26/sunday-lausanne-collection-art-brut/). Have a nice day!

  • Leave a Reply